Maruhiro Flagship Store by Yusuke Seki
We have been following the very talented Japanese designer Yusuke Seki for a while now and his latest project really took it to the next level. In April of this year Seki finished the new flagship store of Maruhiro – the leading producer of Hasami ceramics – in Nagasaki from an extraordinary vision. The designer’s work marries an architectural knowledge with the artisanal know-how of the region, and in so doing, creating an entirely location- and situation-specific experience with an extraordinary autonomous feel rather than that of a store. Seki’s methods seek to amplify Hasami’s rich heritage. His minimal, yet immersive design interference; the modification in the level of the floor, not only utilizes the pre-existing space to alter the perspective and experiences held by the users until the present, but also gives birth to an entirely new sense of flow within ceramics. So inspirational!
Constructed of 25.000 pieces and in cooperation with numerous pottery factories from the Hasami area, the conceptual and experiential focus of the design is a stacked central platform, layers of locally sourced imperfect tableware and poured concrete.
Each of these pieces named Shinikiji in Japanese, were found to be flawed after the initial bisque-firing by their respective local production facilities. As part of his re-valuative design process, Seki revived these pieces, using them to make bricks, and transforming them to a new architectural material for this occasion. The project refers to specific areas where dispose its broken pieces on firing process, existing solely in Nagasaki, which have accrued these imperfect pieces for approximately 400 years. Yet it also creates a sense of reverence for this history, conveying the fragilely of the each individual item, engineered together to inspire and cultivate respect for the legacy on the whole.
Inspirational designer Yusuke Seki was born in 1978 and has worked for the Interior Design Office in Tokyo, as well as a number of corporate clients such as AU, Sony. The designer has also worked independently on design products and architectural space design, of which many have been exhibited at the Milan Salone, Designer’s block, the Tokyo Style Exhibition, Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. After establishing his own studio in 2008, he has designed for a variety of spaces, from shops like his incredible design for the Kyoto-based kimono store Otsuka-Dofukuten and his work at Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten-gai, to candy stores and salons like his work for Kolmio+LIM.
Photography by Takumi Ota.